June 3, 2016

Intimacy with God

In an article about intimacy, the author said that the least intimate conversation is when talk is about things or events like the weather, similar to conversations on an elevator between strangers. The intimacy deepens slightly when people tell one another how they feel about those things or events.

According to this author, intimacy deepens as conversation becomes more personal. “I feel” statements take it there. The deepest intimacy is when people can share how they feel about one another.

Using this measurement, the Bible clearly shows that God and His people are in an intimate relationship. Scripture is filled with statements of how God feels about us, and how His people feel about Him, particularly in the Psalms.

The friendship (or ‘secret counsel’) of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. (Psalm 25:14)

This describes intimacy. We who know Jesus Christ are in awe of God but not standing far away and God, who hears our reverence, makes known to us His love. It is a two-way sharing of our deepest feelings toward one another.

Chambers says the last mark of intimacy is to confide secret joys. At first reading, I thought I do this, but realize I’m more prone to tell Him my secret burdens. When have I shared with Him what gives me great joy? Perhaps the closest is when singing worship songs.

But there are two sides to this. Do I listen for God’s secret joys? I certainly know what brings Him great displeasure, but have I caught His joy — even His small delights?

I think so, at least sometimes. When I go for a walk in the wildlife preserve and see flowers in bloom, surely the joy I feel comes from what He puts in my heart by the Holy Spirit. He must smile at sunsets and children and snow-topped mountains. I rejoice when I create something; obviously God does too. I’m convinced that I feel His joy because He shares it with me.

Sometimes God prompts me to do or say something to another person. When I follow through, His voice isn’t loud, but I can sense Him saying, “Well done, Elsie” — telling me that He is pleased. These are intimate conversations.

Chambers says intimacy is often in the small things because God knows every detail of our lives. He guides us in our ordinary choices and checks us when we move out of His will. Intimacy is just knowing what He wants, and on His side, knowing what I need. Intimacy is walking hand in hand, often saying the same things at the same time and recognizing the harmony. It is moving in confidence knowing He will put a check to stop me if I missed His thoughts on a certain thing.

Intimacy is also being sure of God’s presence and certain that His hand is on my life. In this way, intimacy is totally connected to faith. That is, when God tells me what He thinks of me, faith prompts me to agree with Him. When He tells me that I have sinned, faith responds with confession (agreeing with God) and repentance. When He says He loves me with unconditional love, faith also believes what He says and stops all silly efforts to earn His favor. Because of faith and intimacy with God, I can live in confidence of being His beloved child.

1 comment:

Elsie Montgomery said...

Note to the last person to comment here. Although I appreciate your remarks about this blog, it is my policy to NOT post comments that have a link to a commercial site. No advertising.